WEEKLY PROGRAM ANNOUNCEMENTS

On April 24th, Rotarian George Theodore, a retired electrical engineer, talks about his second career.   Following his introduction by Ralph Smith, our fellow Rotarian will cover how he got started in photography and those who were instrumental in his development through the years.  George’s early work was urban themed, and done in black and white.  Then came the switch to color, then transparencies (slides), and finally digital.  Though still an amateur at heart, George found himself teaching photography and leading workshops and tours.  Those of us interested in the technology will hear George’s views on the differences between film and digital photography – the pros and cons of each -  and hear about our speaker’s experiments with infrared photography.

RCFC members can learn how to create more interest in a photograph by incorporating mood, excitement, and form.  Find out how to work with a two-dimensional surface to add depth or change shape - creating a third dimensional feel.  We will discover techniques to lead viewers through an image.  Lastly, George plans to touch on some reasonably priced aids (software) to help you process your images, and If time permits, we will see a brief slide show.  

George Theodore was raised in New York, and has a degree in Electrical Engineering.  His last position was CEO of a Minneapolis based firm of Architects and Engineers.  His projects included the Minneapolis Convention Center, Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Stadium, Jerry West Arena for University of West Virginia, and multiple projects for Goodyear Tire and Rubber Company.  He was introduced to photography over 65 years ago and started teaching after retirement in 2003.  George formed “American Nature Photography Workshops” in 2011.

Last Wednesday, April 17th, we celebrated our 31st Service Above Self Awards with a record 122 people attending.  It was a fun event with  great music and food.  Awards were presented to celebrate individuals who have excelled at Service in Action during the past year.  Most of the awardees were introduced by the recipient of the same award in 2018.  The awards were presented by District Governor, Chuck Rutenberg. 
  *    Max Getts 4-Way Test Award - Dawn T-Baumgartner
  *    Five Avenues of Service Award - Ada Chen
  *    Spirit of Rotary Award - Justie D. Nicol
  *    Bob Everitt Rotaract Member of the Year Award - Adriana Graybeal
  *    Bob Seymour Satellite Member of the Year Award - Jon Land
  *    Quiet  Rotarian - Marty Bachman
  *    Alan Ashbaugh Excellence Award - Lucinda Kerschensteiner
  *    Service Above Self Award - Mayor Wade Troxell
  *    President's Citation - Kelso Kelly, Robin Steele & Henry Weisser
  *    Rotarian of the Year Award - Bonnie Titley
April 10, Past President Jeanne Fangman inducted new member Kip Turain, sponsored by Bill Schaffter.  Kip recently retired as Commander of the US Air Force ROTC program at CSU.  Kip and wife Maria have two children, Cayla and Cristian.  Kip has a bachelor's degree in management, plus three masters degrees: HR Development; Military Operational Art and Science; and National Security Strategic Studies.  Welcome Kip Turain! 
Last week FCRC member, James Cooper, PhD shared his 9 year experience at King Fahd University (1998-2007).  King Fahd University was started in the 1960’s originally closely associated with Aramco (KFU of Petroleum and Minerals). It is now a public university administered under the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
In some ways it looks like any university in the US (see web site) but it also differs in many ways.  Student body is male only.  The acceptance rate is 2% making it the most selective and best university in the Middle East.  The curriculum is limited to engineering, science and business.  Notably absent are the many liberal art majors expected at most US schools.  Most instruction is in English.
Students could be considered more like employees than customers. They are paid, housed and their attendance and performance closely watched. The first year is often a year of orientation with requirements to fulfill in English and math.  Nonetheless, for most students English is a second language making communication with a professor from the US potentially challenging.
Finally, Jim shared some personal reminiscences.  Exposure to the general culture was limited and consisted primarily of shopping and dining out.  Entertainment was hard to find.  (Soccer was popular but limited to males only).  Alcohol was prohibited but access to alcohol and entertainment was possible in private settings.  The last shared memory was Jim’s learning of the 9/11 disaster the night before his morning class and his need to process this in Saudi Arabia.
The Community Grants committee awarded $3,000 to Off the Hook Arts.  Their mission is to provide free and low-cost musical performance education for students in our community.  Off the Hook will use our grant to assist in their new Meadowlark Music Program by providing free music performance education and instruments to young low-income children ages 6-10.  Presenting the Grant for RCFC were Committee Chair Kathy Nicol, and Don Unger.  Accepting the award was Jephta Bernstein, executive director.
Warren Wilson introduced Army Sargent First Class Larry Kelsey,  who in turn introduced Ian Whittington as Cadet of the Month.  Ian is a freshman pursuing criminal justice.
April 3, speaker was Dr Bryan Willson, Professor, Presidential Chair in Energy Innovation and Director of the CSU Energy Institute ( for a full list of his extensive credentials see the Rotogear published last  week).
CSU's Energy Institutes’ mission is to “use science to find solutions and apply them to scale”.  At least 30 faculty members contribute.  Recognition of the Energy Institute contributed  to Fort Collins selection by the Smithsonian as one of six places of innovation (clean energy)  in the US.  Dr Wilson discussed a number of potential definitions of innovation but believes that bringing people together to collaborate is the best way to define innovation.  Colorado is unique in the collaboration of it’s best universities with one another and the private sector. This was on display at a recent symposium on energy held in Denver.
The acquisition of the old downtown power plant by CSU was the first step in establishing a footprint for the institute which has subsequently been expanded to integrate most of the colleges at CSU in energy research and application.
Specific areas of research and application were listed, including development of the natural gas engine.  Access to  simple low pollution energy has been a focus provided to the developing world.  For example, low emission, 2 stroke engines have been developed and made available; cheap and energy efficient non polluting cook stoves have been distributed; microgrids, especially for African communities are being established ; safe methane extraction and use is being addressed and finally, energy ventures are being set up in and for the developing world.
All these contributions for  better life and health far beyond our local community are  reasons to be proud of our university and city.
Community Grants Chair Kathy Nicol and member Bob Hoel presented a $4000 community grant to Children’s Theater of Fort Collins.  The grant will enable FCCT to mentor children in 3 elementary schools and bring them to a school-only show at Lincoln Center this fall.  It will also support a summer acting program and a first-generation college scholarship
RCFC Member Marty Bachman first talked about the experience of walking Poudre High's halls with Teacher of the Month Krista Brakhage, and seeing the love and respect extended to Krista and Assistant Principal Kori Hixon by every student.  After introductions, Krista gave a brief capsule of her teaching experiences that began in Ovid, Colorado, continued in Japan, to teaching in a drug and alcohol treatment center, and now at Poudre High.  Those varied experiences taught her the value of collaboration and relationships with students, and excels at both.  She has played many roles, including mentoring new arrivals who often have no home support and must learn to trust teachers.  She thanked Rotary for validation of teachers’ efforts.
Committee Chair Jack Vogt introduced Alan Flores, teacher at Poudre High School to introduce Litzy Lastra-Mendoza, RCFC's Student of the Month.  But before turning the microphone over to Litzy, Flores thanked her parents (in Spanish) for raising such an amazing young woman.  During her remarks, Litzy also thanked her parents for teaching her to take responsibility to help others, and take leadership positions.  After listing the several areas she been involved in, she said she wants to become a teacher at Poudre after college.
On February 27th, Dr. Kurt Fausch, Professor Emeritus in the Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Conservation Biology at CSU told of his 35-year journey as a teacher and fisheries ecologist. He stressed the importance of the length of rivers without barriers to their natural inhabitants. He talked about his studies of rivers including the Poudre and other rivers on the High Plains, and in Oregon and Japan.  He noted the importance of rivers to people.  “We need water to drink, support fish and grow food.” He pointed out that the sound of flowing water is healing and gives us peace.  He ended with “We need their sounds and their views, and their sound advice.  And, in the end I believe we will need to understand how and why we love rivers if we hope to conserve them.”
 
Kurt has recently published a prize-winning book “For the Love of Rivers: A Scientist’s Journey.” Watch the two-minute book trailer video, and learn more about the book at: www.fortheloveofrivers.org
March 20, Past President Jeanne Fangman inducted our two newest members:  Don Jorgensen (sponsored by Stacy Plemmons) and Meghana Bhatnager (sponsored by Mara Johnson).   Dr. Jorgensen is a recently retired Orthodontist, and a returning Rotarian, having been a member of RCFC many years ago.   Meghana is a vice president with Adams Bank and a member of the Satellite fellowship.  
Jason Paiz, a transfer from the Loveland Mountain View Rotary Club, gave a very short New Member talk and was awarded his blue badge.  He is a satellite member sponsored by Andy Stewart.

 
John Roberts (RCFC member and past president, 2005 – 06) regaled us with highlights of his trip (with his friend Kathleen) around the world from December, 2017, through May, 2018.  His cruise on the maiden voyage of a new Viking Cruise Line ship started in Miami, FL, and, going the opposite direction from Phileas Fogg, ended in London, England.  The ship had some 930 passengers and some 437 staff, so it was by no means a huge cruise liner.   During a voyage of 34,715 miles, they experienced only one day of rain, but did experience 50-foot waves south of Australia. 
 
He started his presentation by outlining the itinerary.  Countries/ports visited, in order,  included Cuba, Jamaica (Bob Marley was proud), Panama (and the Panama Canal), Costa Rica, Mexico, Los Angeles (the local Target store loved it), Tahiti, Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, New Zealand, the east coast of Australia, Indonesia, the Philippines, China (Shanghai), Vietnam, Thailand, Cambodia, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, India, Oman, the Red Sea (both the Bab al-Mandeb Straight and the Suez Canal), Jordan, Egypt, Italy, Algeria, Spain, Portugal, and London.  This was followed by a slide show with some 100 slides, presented in order of visitation, showing high points of the trip. 
 
Finally, John summarized his impressions from the trip.  In spite of the huge diversity of languages, English is the most common language.  Of the religions of the various cultures, it seems that Christianity is losing ground (many churches in Europe are now museums) whereas Islam, Buddhism, and Hinduism are growing.  Globalization is seen mostly as a benefit, with all ships going up on a rising tide.  The influence of China is extensive and growing, on the one hand building infrastructure but on the other hand increasingly developing surveillance of the Big Brother type.  China may be over-built, but loans are available, there are hundreds of 130 story buildings, and bullet trains cross the country.  The current Chinese building spree follows a long history of mega-projects, including the Great Wall, the Yangtze to Yellow River Canal, and the recently completed Three Gorges Dam with its huge electrical generation capacity.  This compares with an erosion in respect for the U.S., arising at least in part from actions of our own government, our internal polarization, and our gun culture.  There is a widespread loss of trust in the U.S.
 
On the light side (or, at least, the ironic side), John pointed out that there were a number of people on this round-the-world cruise who were serious members of the Flat Earth Society.
Despite the blizzard, Tim Jackson, President/CEO of the Colorado Auto Dealers Association, and Mark Zeigler, Director of Clear the Air Foundation, talked about the current status of the auto industry in Colorado, along with some of the history of that industry in the US. 
 
As described by Zeigler, Clear the Air Foundation (a 501c-3 charitable corporation) has several goals: 1) replace old, polluting vehicles from the roads of Colorado (3,800+ old cars removed to date) with newer, much less polluting vehicles (pollution ratio of 1/100); 2) recycle useable parts of the old cars and destroy the engines so they cannot pollute again; 3) use the proceeds from recycling, along with various college foundations, to grant scholarships (for either training or tool purchase) to students pursuing careers in the automotive field.
 
Jackson pointed out that the industry has had a significant presence in Colorado since 1902 (the first Denver Auto Show), some 11 years before the advent of the Model-T, some of which were manufactured in Colorado.  In the early 1900s there were some 2000 auto manufacturers in the US, compared with the fewer than 20 companies making the vast majority of cars on the road today.  At the first Denver Auto Show, there were some 27 cars exhibited, all either electric- or steam-powered. That compares with today where each major manufacturer shows more models than that, and most are now powered by internal combustion engines.  Those changes were started by Henry Ford who introduced the assembly line and the franchised dealer-network model for manufacture and distribution of automobiles.
 
Those changes have been accompanied by dramatic increases in quality (average age of cars on the road 20 years ago was 8.4 years; average age in Colorado today is 13.7 years) and safety (auto accident fatalities have decreased by 1/3 since a high in 1970 in spite of significant increases in population, rate of car ownership, and number of miles driven).  According to Jackson, "there is not a bad car on the market in the US today". 
 
There is much interest today in diversification of power source (electricity, fuel-cell, & natural gas) and development of autonomous vehicles.  Electric cars account for only some 3% of the vehicles on the road sold in 2018. The total number of EVs on Colo roads (15,000) make up less than 0.2% of overall fleet which totals 5.96 million. Although there is considerable interest in increasing auto efficiency in Colorado (e.g., implementing the California standards), given the vehicle mix and altitude in Colorado, those standards will likely add several thousand dollars to the cost of a new car or truck in Colorado. 
 
There is some question if a fully autonomous car will ever be possible.  Even if it becomes reality, it is likely that most people will want a car for the family rather than sharing one with others. Thus, even though fully autonomous vehicles would probably have a significant impact on mobility of the aged and the disabled, they would probably not eliminate congestion on the roadways nor would they dramatically increase the abundance of shared rides. 

Zak George is RCFC’s newest Blue Badge member after including his New Member Talk into his presentation on H2-B visas.  George obtained a business management degree from CSU before working at Disney World and discovering landscaping, which he loved.  He started ZGL Company in 2005.  

Bill Schaffter introduced US Air Force Captain Adam Niederhiser, who in turn introduced RCFC’s March Cadet of the Month, Michael Berg. Cadet Burg thanked his parents for instilling a service and hard worth ethic.

FCRC member, Zac George started with his New Member talk, detailing how after receiving a degree from CSU in Business Management he worked at Disneyworld, returned to Ft Collins, got into landscaping and opened his own business in 2005 (ZGL Co).

The remainder of the talk was about the H2-B visa and how it works in Northern Colorado.  First, George made clear two things the H2-B is not - an immigration program, or a cheap source of labor taking jobs from local workers.  The program started in 1987 with fewer than 100 visas issued, reached a high of 160,000 visas, and in 2019 has just 60,000 temporary visas, causing serious problems for seasonal companies such as ZGL Landscaping.  

The need exists because the civilian labor force participation is declining, and there are more jobs available (especially in places like NOCO) than resident workers to fill them.  The goal of the program is not to save money for employers but to create a stream of reliable, skilled (returning) seasonal workers.  Common areas of employment in Colorado include food services, hospitality, construction and landscaping.  Wages depend on location but are $15.75 per hour in NOCO.  Workers for Zac’s business come from Mexico where similar work would pay $10 per day.

Next, Zac detailed the extensive process to get the worker on the job: acceptance of the business into the program, the yearly visa application and assignment process, receiving a (WAC number) from UCIS in San Diego, then the recruitment, hiring, and transporting workers to the job.  Third parties are hired to process workers and transport them to Ft Collins from all over Mexico.  Often Mexican workers in the program recruit hardworking friends and family for future employment.  Challenges unique in our area include getting housing, cars and all the needs we have in this growth area.  Without this program, it is not clear how businesses like ZGL could operate.

Committee Member Harry Muller presented a STEM Educational grant to Preston Middle School.  The grant will be used to fund a student designed Static Flight Simulator at Preston and the STEM Institute.   Accepting the grant was John Howe, Director of the STEM Institutes.

Chair Jack Vogt introduced PSD Global Academy History and English teacher, Cat Lauer, who in turn introduced, then “interviewed” RCFC’s Student of the Month, Gillian Moore.  Ms. Lauer noted Moore’s heart for service and very useful skills at the Fort Collins Cat Rescue animal shelter.  Moore told of falling in love with the work of caring for cats, and even the cleaning of cages.  She plans to attend Front Range Community College then CSU’s school of Veterinary Medicine. 

February 28, noon member Sandra Munger gave her New Member Talk, and became the newest RCFC Blue Badge member.  Sandra recounted her background in Accounting, her work in Health Insurance claims, then her journey back to her first love - becoming a librarian in Canyon, Texas near Amarillo.  She has recently retired to Fort Collins where she spent her earliest years while her father studied at CSU.  She was a Rotarian and past Club President in Canyon, Texas.   She is sponsored by Jean Lamm.  Welcome Sandra!!

Merit Badge University Committee chair Randy Kurtz announced that the most recent MBU was our 26th.  He recognized all Rotarians who helped, then presented a $400 check to Longs Peak Council BSA to offset MBU costs.  BSA Longs Peak Council Senior District Executive John Eastman (also a Rotarian) accepted the check and thanked Rotary.   

Our Teacher of the Month for February is Susan Steinmark, a thirty year teaching veteran, with 23 of those years in the Poudre School District. Introduced by Assistant Principal, Cheryl Day, Susan is a very busy instructional coach and literary interventionist.  Every day she meets with small groups of students from grades one through five who are struggling with reading.  She also mentors and coaches teachers and is proud of the growth she has observed in them.  This activity has led to her to become a consultant at the district level for literacy professional development for PSD staff, leading professional development sessions.  In preparation, she consumes data attempting to catch students before they falter.  She also is part of the district’s literacy curriculum team and the writing curriculum team.  Besides specific help with reading and writing, Susan is keenly interested in moral lessons she can impart to students and works with school and community student service projects called Lighthouse projects.  She is a teacher with a busy schedule and the dedication to fulfill her many responsibilities.  As a student herself, Susan was a Rotary scholarship recipient 35 years ago!

Dr. Amy Franklin, CEO of “Farms for Orphans” (a Loveland-based 501c-3 organization), presented information about hunger among children worldwide and especially in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, as well as plans for addressing childhood-hunger in the DRC using edible insects, specifically palm weevil larvae, grown under controlled conditions at orphanages there.  Worldwide, edible insects provide a widespread and reasonably available source of protein and micronutrients. 

Worldwide, approximately ½ of all deaths of children under age 5 is from malnutrition.  Even malnourished kids who don’t die suffer from poor health and poor physical and mental development.  Most at-risk youth are from disadvantaged environments, especially in underdeveloped countries.  Some 153 million children worldwide are orphans.  In DRC, there are some 5.1 million orphans, 4.6 million suffering from malnutrition. 

Additional information is available at www.farmsfororphans.org

Community Grants Chair Kathy Nicol presented a check for $3000 to the Executive Director of The Family Center/La Familia.  Funds will be used to purchase kitchen equipment including a refrigerator and a dishwasher for their kitchen.  More than 100 children daily will benefit by receiving healthy meals while under the Center’s care.
 
 
Meeting Information

Welcome to our Club!

Meetings: Wednesday Noon
Drake Center (Lunch)
802 West Drake Road
Fort Collins, CO  80526
United States of America
 
Club Executives & Directors
President
President Elect
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Secretary
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Immediate Past President
 
Updates?
To get your announcement, any other news, or edits into the Rotogear or website please email complete information to editor.rcfc@gmail.com.
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Upcoming Events
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
   
 
 
RotoGear
April 24, 2019
Apr 19, 2019
April 17, 2019
Apr 13, 2019
April 10, 2017
Apr 07, 2019
April 3, 2019
Mar 30, 2019
March 27, 2019
Mar 24, 2019